Author Topic: YNAB help  (Read 1557 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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YNAB help
« on: August 12, 2018, 06:45:52 AM »
I've been using YNAB for about a year now and overall it's good but there are still a few things that are confusing me. I feel like I'd like to do a 'clean slate' and start over - is that possible?  I think my issues stems from the following:

We have 2 incomes. One is deposited into checking and is used to pay for everything. mortgage, groceries, daycare, utilities, etc. This is what I really want to be tracking with YNAB.  The second income is deposited into a separate savings account. The student loans auto pay from this account and every few months we put an additional large principle payment on the student loans from this account. Because YNAB sees it all as income we have waay more income than I want to budget and then when I do make a big student loan payment it shows huge monthly expenses.  What's the best way to manage this? I like being able to see the account balance on the second savings account and student loans via YNAB but I'd like that stream of money to not be included in our budgeting since the goal is to not use it at all.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: YNAB help
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 07:07:31 AM »
I'm using the old downloadable YNAB 4, so keep that in mind as I think they've changed some parts of how the program works.

They always strongly encouraged the idea of a "fresh start" so I suspect they have a way to do that. You'll just end up with all the money you have in your on budget accounts as available to budget and you'll need to decide how to mete that out.

As far as living off of one income and paying the student loan with the other I would probably do what you've been doing and just use have a student loan category that received enough of the available to budget money to use up the second income.

But, if you don't want it to work that way, you should be able make the second savings account and the student loan both off budget accounts and just have the second income deposited to savings and the student loan payment transferred from savings to the student loan and all of this wouldn't be factored in to your budget.

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Re: YNAB help
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 12:31:18 PM »
The second income is income, correct?  Not just money moving around.  If so, then I would just budget it when it comes in as dedicated to Students Loans.  When it builds up and you do a principal payment, charge it to the student loans. 

8/1- Deposit comes in $1,000 - To Be Budgeted (Student Loans)
8/15 - Regular auto debit comes out $300 - Pay from Student Loans
9/1 - Paycheck for $1,000 - To Be Budgeted (Student Loans)
9/15 - Auto debit for $300 - Charge to Student Loans

After this 2 months, you'll have 1,400 extra in that account and you can send that as a principal payment to Student Loans.  That will zero out both your bank account and the Student Loan Account you have in YNAB.

If it bothers you to have Student Loans showing that much on your budget.  You could make a separate category for Student Loan Principal.

8/1 - $1,000 comes in - you allocate 300  to STudent Loans, and 600 to Student Loan Principal
8/15 - $300 pays from Student Loans
9/30 - Pay 1,400 and charge to Student Loan Principal

OR, you could just take that account off the balance sheet since it's kind of self contained, if you think it's muddying the other waters.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: YNAB help
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 03:53:44 PM »
I also use the old version, so it may be different, but you might be able to create a second budget for just the other account and student loans, so they don't show up on your everyday budget.  I know I was able to set up a second one on the old version (had it so my son could use it for his income and expenses, but it wouldn't affect mine).

Or, follow the other suggestions.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: YNAB help
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2018, 06:01:13 PM »
I use the old version as well, and that's pretty much what I do for things that I don't want to impact my day to day budget.  I have categories that are dedicated to certain accounts.  My savings account has 2 categories in it, so any time I allocate money to one of the savings account categories, I also transfer the money over to it. 

In your case when that check comes in you'd just put it to the student loan category.

We also have a business account, when money comes in to that account it's income, which I actually categorize to the business category.

Oh, did you know that if you get a refund for something like when you return something to the store, instead of allocating it to income you can just put it straight to the category it came from?  So say you bought a pair of pants and it comes from the clothing category, then you return them.  You don't want the return to be income, since it's NOT income.  Instead of categorizing it as income categorize it as clothing, then it will go right back into your budget as clothing.